Soldiers have aided national security in peace and war since the first Continental Army was established on June 14, 1775, thus making today the Army’s 247th Birthday.
The first delegates were commanded under George Washington and said this oath in 1775, “I have, this day, voluntarily enlisted myself, as a Soldier, in the American Continental Army, for one year, unless sooner discharged: And I do bind myself to conform, in all instances, to such rules and regulations, as are, or shall be, established for the government of the said Army.”
The Oath of Enlistment transformed over the years to encompass a Soldier’s duty to the Constitution and obeying orders from their Commander and Chief and other appointed officials. The current oath is used universally for all services and ranks, except for the National Guard where the state of allegiance is included.
Army means family to U.S. Army Pvt. John Kerl Vitug, 21st Theater Sustainment Command. “It was scary to do big things.”
Vitug took the oath at 17 and was recruited as a finance management technician. “At the same time, I was happy. I was able to make my parents proud for joining a big organization like this.”
All Soldiers stand ready to defend the nation and approximately 121,000 U.S. Soldiers are currently deployed in 140 different countries around the world.
21st TSC held a ceremony to celebrate the Soldiers, Families, and civilians that make defending America 24/7 possible at Kleber Kaserne, Kaiserslautern. In attendance was Maj. Gen. James Smith, commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Kofie Primus, senior enlisted advisor.
“My oath of enlistment was something bigger than myself, being able to be a part of an all-volunteer force was a chance to serve with a diverse and cohesive team but most importantly carry on the legacy, honor and sacrifice of brave men and women that contributed and paid the ultimate sacrifice to the defense of our great nation,” said Primus.
Along with the ceremony, 21st TSC is hosting a virtual walk or run event where Soldiers and civilians can register on an app to track their progress and the goal is to complete 24.7 miles in honor of the Army birthday. Those who achieve the goal are awarded a Certificate of Achievement. Master Sgt. Brian Demayo, senior military equal opportunity advisor, created the event to support Army Heritage Month and the 247th birthday.
The month of June is designated as Army Heritage month to highlight achievements and contributions of Soldiers, Families, and civilians and to encourage a sense of inclusion and provide equal opportunity education.
The physical event hosted 212 participants from 21st TSC locations in Germany, Kosovo, and Poland. Demayo said it was the first time 21st TSC created a virtual fitness event such as this one and it will end 19 June.
Putting people first is the priority of the Army. Team 21 supports this promise by building positive command climates, reducing harmful behaviors, and changing the way recruiting and retaining talent is performed.